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Old 02-21-2012, 05:27 PM   #1
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Existing blow in insulation vs new insulation - Keep or redo?


Hello,

I just purchased a home and removed some tile in the kitchen. I was not able to just remove the tile. Chunks of the drywall underneath came off with the tile so I took larger pieces out. Behind the drywall between the studs I found what seems to be blow in insulation. I do not know how old it is. It does seem to be densely packed though.

My question is: Should I tear out the blow in insulation and replace it with different material (if yes, what material) in order to improve insulation of the home?

If there is large room for improvement I might even be interested in redoing all exterior walls to change the insulation.

Also, could this type of insulation contain asbestos? The home was built in 1958 but I heard from people in the neighborhood that these homes initially had no insulation at all.
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Old 02-21-2012, 11:59 PM   #2
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Existing blow in insulation vs new insulation - Keep or redo?


Looks to be dense-pack cellulose, the second best - under spray foam. I would love to have it in my house......It helps stop air movement and fire: http://findarticles.com/p/articles/m...6/ai_n8582994/

http://www.buildingscience.com/docum...oss-enclosures

http://www.cellulose.org/userdocs/Te...ectiveness.pdf

Gary

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Old 02-22-2012, 03:41 AM   #3
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Existing blow in insulation vs new insulation - Keep or redo?


If you decide to leave it (I would) be careful with your demo. If it falls out, you'll never get it back in.

Asbestos was a concern with vermiculite. Which yours is not (let me qualify that: does not appear to be). Vermiculite is typically loose in the wall cavity like cereal flakes, if you removed the drywall it would tumble into a pile on the floor.
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Old 02-22-2012, 08:34 AM   #4
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Existing blow in insulation vs new insulation - Keep or redo?


Leave it.

Looks good.
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Old 02-22-2012, 07:24 PM   #5
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Existing blow in insulation vs new insulation - Keep or redo?


ok! Thank you very much for the input!

Now I have the problem that I do have to remove areas of dry wall in order to run new electrical wires. How would I best manage to do this? Only cut off 3 ft from the ground and run the cables through the studs? How would I hold the insulation in place? How would I run the cable up to switches that also need to be mounted? Fish them through? Also how can I mount new switch boxes in existing drywall?
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Old 02-23-2012, 10:46 AM   #6
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You'll want "old work" boxes designed for remodeling.

If the insulation does fall out you can mash it back in place just before you screw your replacement drywall up. If a big area falls out, screw a piece of plywood to the bay, floor up to the top of the blowout, and use a rod to pack the cavity. Remove plywood and go.
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Old 02-23-2012, 06:40 PM   #7
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Existing blow in insulation vs new insulation - Keep or redo?


Quote:
Originally Posted by CplDevilDog View Post
You'll want "old work" boxes designed for remodeling.
Thanks for the tip. Looks like these bolt to the drywall?

Also, how would I best run the cables in existing walls? Cut off the lower 3 ft of the drywall to run cables through the studs and then fish them up to the boxes?
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Old 02-24-2012, 06:13 AM   #8
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Depends on a couple of things.

How good are your finishing skills?

Do you have access from underneath?


If you think the wall is going to look terrible afterwards run it under the floor and just bring it up in the one wall cavity.
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Old 02-24-2012, 09:09 AM   #9
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Existing blow in insulation vs new insulation - Keep or redo?


There is no way to access anything from underneath; the walls sit on a concrete slab.

Finishing skills, hmm. How hard is it going to be to patch in these sections? How low down can I run the cables along the wall?

Thanks a lot!
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Old 01-17-2014, 08:26 AM   #10
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Existing blow in insulation vs new insulation - Keep or redo?


If you are not confident about you finishing skills, you may want to use some paneling/wainscoting to cover areas that were messed up.
Cabinets and appliances should cover a good portion of the kitchen walls and after the backsplash is in there might not be that much drywall finishing to do

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